Looking for things to do in Porto, Portugal? Read on to discover 33 amazing things to do in Porto, based on my own experience (plus some research). You will find a map of Porto at the bottom of the post, plus a list of faqs about things to do in Porto, suggestions for where to stay in Porto by area, and a section on popular hotels too.

Traditional rabelo boats on the douro river with the dom luis i bridge and the porto skyline in the background, portugal.
Porto riverside.
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About Porto.

Porto (also known as Oporto) is an historic city located in northern Portugal along the Douro River. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and renowned port wine. 

I visited Porto in November 2023, and I especially loved the picturesque streets, iconic bridges, and vibrant neighbourhoods. I had a wonderful time sampling port wine, along with traditional Portuguese cuisine and culture.

33 Amazing Things to do in Porto, Portugal.

Read on for my list of amazing things to do in Porto, Portugal.

1. See the Dom Luis I Bridge.

Seeing the Dom Luis I Bridge should be at the top of any list of things to do in Porto. This iconic double-decker metal bridge spans the Douro River, connecting Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. The bridge was designed by Théophile Seyrig, who was a student of Gustave Eiffel.

A bridge over a body of water in Porto.
Porto – the River Douro

You can enjoy stunning views of the bridge from various spots along the riverfront, such as the Ribeira district or the Gaia waterfront. I really enjoyed strolling across the bridge on foot, stopping to take a photo halfway along. You can also catch a ride on one of the quaint trams across the top. 

2. Take a Stroll Along the Douro River.

One of the pretty-much obligatory things to do in Porto is to take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque banks of the Douro River. It’s a lovely way to see Porto’s iconic bridges stretching across the water, whilst you browse the riverside stalls and vendors selling their wares.

Woman in a red dress taking a photo with her smartphone on a riverside terrace, with a bridge and cityscape in the background.
Me snapping the beautiful Porto views.

The buzzing activity of fishermen, tourists, and locals going about their day creates a lively yet peaceful ambiance. T here are colourful buildings lining the waterfront, which are great for photos. You can also take a boat trip from along the banks, whether you are on the historic Ribeira side or wandering along the Gaia waterfront.

3. Visit Livraria Lello.

Step into the enchanting world of literature as you visit Livraria Lello, a true gem nestled in the heart of Porto. This iconic bookstore is not just a place to buy books; it’s an experience in itself.

Livraria Lello’s unique neo-Gothic façade and interior design have led to comparisons with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

While Livraria Lello is often rumoured to have inspired some of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter scenes, there’s no direct evidence to suggest this. However, it’s known that J.K. Rowling spent time in Porto and may have drawn inspiration from various aspects of the city, including its architecture and culture, during her visits.

This tour takes you to the Lello bookshop, as well as a river cruise and a ride on the cable car.

4. Explore Ribeira.

When considering things to do in Porto, don’t neglect the Ribeira district. This charming neighbourhood, nestled along the banks of the Douro River, is a blend of old-world charm and lively energy.

You’ll find quaint cobbled streets lined with cosy bars and eateries offering delicious Portuguese dishes (like grilled sardines). Praça da Ribeira square is surrounded by vibrant 18th-century townhouses, adding a splash of colour to the scene. 

Don’t miss the grand Palácio da Bolsa nearby, renowned for its stunning neoclassical architecture and interiors. There are also stunning views of the Douro River and Porto’s iconic landmarks.  

5. Climb the Clerigos Tower. 

Why not embark on an adventure to the top of Porto’s skyline, by ascending the iconic Clerigos Tower? This architectural marvel, standing tall in the heart of the city, offers panoramic views of the city and beyond.

As you make your way up the narrow spiral staircase, each step brings you closer to the sky. 

Finally, as you reach the summit, you can feast your senses on sweeping views of Porto’s historic centre, the meandering Douro River, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

6. Indulge in Port Wine Tasting.

If you like port, and you are looking for things to do in Porto, then this one is a no-brainer. 

I recommend exploring Porto’s renowned port wine tradition with a tasting tour in Vila Nova de Gaia. Here you’ll wander through historic wine cellars, where oak barrels age to perfection, and learn about the winemaking process. 

Rows of wooden barrels stacked in a dimly lit distillery warehouse with a central walkway leading to an arched door. Vila Nova de Gaia in Porto.
Vila Nova de Gaia

You can sample different port wine styles, from fruity ruby to nutty tawny, while soaking in the rich history and flavours of this beloved beverage. It’s a must-do experience for anyone visiting Porto!

7. Visit Sao Bento Train Station.

Sao Bento Train Station is a must-visit spot in Porto. This place is like a living museum, showing off the best of Porto’s cultural heritage. As soon as you walk in, you’ll notice the stunning interior, covered in over 20,000 hand-painted tiles called ‘azulejos’. These tiles are like little pieces of art, telling stories from Portugal’s past.

Take your time exploring the station and admiring the beautiful tiles. Each one is filled with intricate details and vibrant colours that really bring the history to life.

This is also a functioning train station, with lots of commuters leading their busy lives, but you can also wander in and just look around. 

8. Explore Porto’s Street Art. 

Explore Porto’s vibrant street art scene by wandering through its neighbourhoods which are adorned with colourful murals and graffiti.

Colorful mosaic facade on a building in an urban street lined with shops and architectural detailing under a clear blue sky. Street art in Porto.
Street art in Porto.

You’ll be amazed by the variety of styles and techniques used by local and international artists, from abstract designs to detailed stencil work. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems tucked away in unexpected corners of the city. There is a good Porto street art tour here.

9. Sample Portuguese Cuisine.

All the best things to do in Porto usually involve food of some sort. Get your taste buds ready for iconic dishes like francesinha, a hearty sandwich packed with cured meats and smothered in a tasty beer sauce. Then there’s bacalhau, succulent salted cod served in all sorts of tasty ways. And don’t forget about pastel de nata, a scrumptious custard tart with a crispy, flaky crust.

Try this three hour food and wine tasting tour to be guided by a local expert.

10. Visit Porto Cathedral.

Porto’s Cathedral is like a time machine, showing off the city’s spiritual side and its amazing architecture.

Historic porto cathedral and ornate pillory column under a clear blue sky, with visitors walking around the plaza.
Porto Cathedral

Once you step inside, you’re in a whole new world—a peaceful sanctuary filled with ancient stone columns, beautiful altars, and colourful stained glass windows. 

The best part is heading up to the cathedral’s terrace for some seriously breathtaking views of Porto. From up there, you can see the historic centre, the Douro River, and beyond. 

You can see the Clerigos tower in the distance to the left of my photo above.

11. Take a Boat Tour on the Douro. 

There is nothing quite like a scenic boat tour along the majestic Douro River in Porto. 

Enjoy a cruise along the tranquil waters, passing by picturesque vineyards, hillsides, and charming riverside villages. Along the way, take in the breathtaking views of Porto’s iconic bridges, including the Dom Luis I Bridge, with its graceful arches spanning the river high above your head. 

There are lots of boat cruises available. I chose to go on the 6 Bridges River Tour, but you could also try the Douro River Sightseeing Sailing Cruise at Sunset or Daytime, or the Boat Tour by the Douro River with Wine and Tapas included.

12. Explore the Crystal Palace Gardens.

I particularly loved the peaceful Crystal Palace Gardens, a serene oasis nestled among lush greenery and stunning panoramic views. I stumbled upon this place purely by chance, lured in by the peacocks and roosters which just seemed to be hanging out at the entrance to the park.

You can stroll through the gardens, filled with manicured lawns, colourful flowers, and tall trees that create a relaxing atmosphere.

Explore hidden pathways, quiet ponds, and cosy gazebos scattered throughout the gardens, perfect for unwinding and taking a leisurely walk.

The Crystal Palace Gardens also contain the Porto Romantic Museum and the Port Wine Museum. Plus the gardens also offer stunning viewpoints overlooking the Douro River, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Porto cityscape.

View of a cityscape from a terraced garden with geometric patterns, overlooking a river and distant buildings under a clear sky.
View from Crystal palace gardens.

13. Discover Porto’s Beaches.

Escape to the sunny beaches of Porto for a day of relaxation and fun in the sun. With endless stretches of beachfront nearby, there’s plenty of room to lounge and soak up the sun or enjoy some water activities.

A serene beach scene with a clear blue sky, sandy shore, and calm sea. metal structures partially buried in sand are visible, and a single bird flies in the distance.
Praia de Matosinhos beach.

Some popular beaches in Porto include:

  1. Matosinhos Beach: Located to the north of Porto, Matosinhos Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. It’s known for its wide sandy shores, excellent surf conditions, and vibrant beachfront promenade lined with cafes and restaurants.
  2. Foz do Douro Beach: Situated at the mouth of the Douro River, Foz do Douro Beach offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Douro River estuary. It’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or enjoying a drink at one of the beachfront bars.
  3. Praia da Luz: This small, secluded beach is tucked away between rocky cliffs and offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. It’s ideal for those seeking a quieter beach experience away from the crowds.
  4. Praia do Molhe: Located near the Foz neighbourhood, Praia do Molhe is known for its picturesque setting and calm waters, making it a favourite spot for families with children.

To get to Porto’s beaches, you can take public transportation, such as buses or the metro, which provide easy access to many of the beach areas. Once you arrive at the beach, you can explore the area on foot or rent a bike to venture along the scenic coastal paths.

14. Visit Casa da Musica.

Casa da Música is a must-visit destination for music lovers and architecture enthusiasts in Porto. This modern concert hall, designed by the renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, stands as a cultural icon in the city. 

Things to do in Porto - Casa de Musica. Modern geometric building with large windows, a tilted facade, and stairs under a blue sky.
Casa de Musica, Porto.

As you approach Casa da Música, you’ll be struck by its bold and innovative design, characterised by striking geometric shapes, sleek lines, and reflective surfaces.

Inside, the state-of-the-art technology and innovative design create an audiovisual experience. You can attend a live performance or take a guided tour of the facility.

Also open to the public are the various spaces within Casa da Música, including its concert halls, rehearsal rooms, and exhibition spaces.

15. Discover Azulejos Tiles around Porto.

As you wander through the enchanting streets of Porto, you’ll stumble upon one of its most enchanting features: azulejos tiles. These intricately crafted ceramic tiles adorn buildings, churches, and public spaces, each telling its own fascinating story.

While you explore Porto, be sure to keep an eye out for these beautiful tiles embellishing facades, walls, and even staircases. 

Here are some must-see spots to admire azulejos:

1.Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls): Feast your eyes on the breathtaking blue azulejos covering the exterior of this chapel. There are scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi and the martyrdom of Saint Catherine.

2. Igreja do Carmo: This baroque church is adorned with stunning azulejos panels depicting tales from the life of Saint Anthony of Padua and the founding of the Carmelite Order.

3. Igreja de Santo Ildefonso: Prepare to be amazed by the ornate facade of this church, adorned with blue and white azulejos showcasing scenes from the life of Saint Ildefonso and his miraculous deeds.

4. Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace): Dive into the lavish interiors of the Palácio da Bolsa, where exquisite azulejos panels illustrate historical and allegorical themes in the Arabian Room and the Assembly Room.

5. São Bento Train Station: Step inside São Bento Train Station and marvel at its magnificent azulejos panels. Adorning the main hall, these panels depict scenes from Portugal’s rich history, from epic battles to royal processions and rural life.

16. Take a Day Trip to Guimaraes.

Guimarães is often referred to as the “birthplace of Portugal.” This charming city, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is steeped in history and offers a wealth of cultural attractions that offer insight into Portugal’s mediaeval past.

A view of the gothic-style lamego fountain in front of a tree-lined staircase leading to a hill, with houses scattered across the hillside under a clear blue sky.
Church Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira in Guimaraes.

Prepare to be transported back in time within the cobblestone streets of Guimaraes’ historic centre. Here you’ll find well-preserved mediaeval architecture, cosy squares, and charming alleyways.

Make sure to visit iconic landmarks like the Guimaraes Castle, a magnificent fortress perched high above the city. Also don’t miss the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, a Renaissance palace that gives a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Portuguese nobility.

Guimarães is easily accessible from Porto by train or bus, making it an ideal day trip destination. Alternatively try this tour which takes you to Braga and Guimaraes in one tour from Porto.

17. Experience the Bolhao Market.

Bolhão Market is a busy marketplace that epitomises Porto’s vibrant culinary scene. Nestled in the heart of the city, this historic market is a feast for the senses, brimming with an array of fresh produce, local delicacies, and artisanal goods.

An outdoor market stall displaying an array of garlic and red chili pepper strings under a metal roof structure.
Bolhau Market in Porto.

As you step into Bolhão Market, you’ll be greeted by the sights, sounds, and aromas of Porto’s gastronomic heritage. There is a colourful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and seafood—all sourced from local farms and fisheries.

It is possible to sample regional specialties such as cured meats, olives, cheeses, and pastries, each offering a taste of Porto’s culinary tradition.

18. Porto City Hall (Câmara Municipal do Porto).

Porto City Hall, situated in the heart of the city, stands as a proud emblem of Porto’s civic pride and administrative prowess.

View of the porto city hall in portugal, with its distinctive clock tower, surrounded by trees and a water feature in the foreground, on a sunny day with people around.
City Hall on Liberdade Square

The building’s neoclassical design, adorned with ornate columns, intricate carvings, and majestic statues, reflects the city’s rich history.

The interior of Porto City Hall exudes an air of sophistication and authority. There are grand halls, elegant staircases, and opulent chambers.

But Porto City Hall isn’t just a sight to behold—it’s also a hub of activity and culture. Keep an eye out for events, exhibitions, and cultural programs happening throughout the year.

19. Ride the Cable Car (Teleférico de Gaia).

The Teleférico de Gaia, or Gaia Cable Car, offers a unique and scenic way to experience the beauty of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia from above. This aerial tramway system provides lovely views of the Douro River, the historic Ribeira district, and the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge.

Cable cars over rooftops with a panoramic view of porto, portugal, featuring the douro river and densely packed historic buildings.
Riberia houses with cable car.

To reach the cable car, head to the lower station located near the riverside in Vila Nova de Gaia, just a short walk from the Dom Luis I Bridge. From there, you can board one of the cable cars and ascend gently into the sky, suspended high above the city.

The journey on the Teleférico de Gaia is not only a scenic delight but also a convenient way to access some of the city’s top attractions. At the upper station, located near the Jardim do Morro park, you can disembark and explore the surrounding area, which offers stunning views of Porto’s skyline and the Douro River.

20. Ride the Ancient Tram (Tram 22).

Up there amongst all of the iconic things to do in Porto, is Riding Tram 22. It’s like taking a nostalgic journey back in time. 

A vintage tram rolling in front of a baroque church under a clear blue sky in a cobblestoned square.
Historic street tram in Porto.

To hop aboard Tram 22, simply head to one of its designated stops along the route, which runs from Batalha Square to Carmo Square. Keep an eye out for the vintage yellow tramcars, which are easy to spot as they rumble along the tracks.

As the tram clatters along the cobblestone streets, you’ll pass by colourful buildings, bustling markets, and iconic landmarks, soaking in the sights and sounds of the city.

Along the tram’s route, there are stops near popular sights such as the São Bento Train Station, the Clerigos Tower, and the Carmo Church.

21. Go on a Day Trip to the Vineyards of the Douro Valley.

Located just a short distance from Porto, the Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its stunning beauty and rich winemaking heritage.

Aerial view of a lush, terraced vineyard in the Douro Valley along a river in a mountainous landscape, under a bright, cloudy sky.
Douro Valley Vineyards

To begin your day trip, you can join a guided tour or rent a car and set off on your own adventure. As you wind your way through the scenic countryside, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling vineyards, quaint villages, and the meandering Douro River.

Upon reaching the Douro Valley, you can take guided tours of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample a variety of exquisite wines, including the region’s famous Port wine. I recommend this excellent tour which includes lunch, or this one if you are looking for a private experience.

In addition to wine tastings, many wineries offer immersive experiences such as grape stomping, blending workshops, and scenic picnics amidst the vineyards. See all Douro Valley day trips here.

22. See Casa do Infante.

Originally built in the 14th century, this architectural marvel is one of Porto’s oldest surviving buildings and holds significant historical importance as the birthplace of Prince Henry the Navigator.

Today, Casa do Infante serves as a museum dedicated to showcasing Porto’s rich history and heritage. There are archaeological artefacts, ancient documents, and interactive displays that bring Porto’s history to life. Learn about the city’s maritime legacy, its role in the Age of Discovery, and the cultural influences that have shaped its identity over the centuries.

One of the highlights of Casa do Infante is its impressive collection of documents, including the birth certificate of Prince Henry the Navigator.

23. Explore Porto’s Secret Passages.

Interested in uncovering hidden history and ancient mysteries? Portugal has a few spots where you can explore underground monuments frozen in time for centuries. Lisbon, Coimbra, Sintra – and also Porto.

Underneath Porto is a hidden subterranean network where the city’s history intertwines with its water supply system.

This story dates back over five centuries, to the reign of King D. Sebastião, who envisioned bringing fresh water to the city and its roughly 20 thousand inhabitants.

Porto boasts approximately 60 springs and wells, stretching from Salgueiros to Fontainhas, with Arca d’Água housing the most abundant sources. Despite its once-vital role, the city ceased using this water source in the 19th century.

Today, remnants of these water systems lay preserved beneath the city’s surface. The intricate network of underground galleries, aqueducts, and lost rivers stands as a testament to the labour of hundreds of men who tirelessly dug and constructed these passages.

24. Visit the Serralves Foundation.

The Serralves Foundation is a vibrant cultural institution located in Porto that celebrates art, culture, and nature. Situated amidst lush gardens and parklands, the foundation is home to a range of artistic and educational experiences.

Symmetrical view of a formal garden featuring a large central fountain, leading to a pink-hued building in the background, surrounded by lush greenery. Serralves Foundation in Porto.
Serralves Foundation

At the heart of the Serralves Foundation is the Serralves Museum, a modernist masterpiece that showcases contemporary art from Portugal and around the world.

Outside, the Serralves Park beckons with its tranquil gardens, scenic trails, and outdoor sculptures.

Throughout the year, the Serralves Foundation hosts a program of exhibitions, performances, and events.

25. Attend a Fado Performance.

Experience the enchanting melodies of Portugal’s traditional Fado music at one of Porto’s authentic Fado houses. This is something that often features on lists of things to do in Portugal, although bear in mind it isn’t for everyone.

A group of people playing guitars on a cobblestone street in Funchal Madeira.
Fado band in Funchal Madeira (a Portuguese island)

Fado, which means “fate” or “destiny” in Portuguese, is a deeply emotive musical genre that captures the essence of Portuguese culture and history.

In Porto, you’ll find intimate Fado houses and restaurants where talented musicians and vocalists perform stirring renditions of classic Fado songs. These performances often take place in cosy, dimly lit venues, creating an intimate and atmospheric setting that enhances the emotional impact of the music.

The haunting melodies of the guitarra (Portuguese guitar) and the soulful vocals of the Fadista (Fado singer) tell stories of love, longing, and saudade (a deep emotional state of melancholic longing).

26. Take a Porto Food Tour.

My favourite thing to do in any new city is to take a food tour, and Porto was no exception! 

In Porto there are many wonderful food tours showcasing the City’s traditional delicacies. These tours are led by local experts and passionate foodies who are eager to share their love for Portuguese cuisine and introduce you to the city’s hidden culinary gems.

During a Porto food tour, you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of traditional dishes, regional specialties, and gourmet delights at some of Porto’s most beloved eateries, cafes, and markets.

27. Explore the Stock Exchange Palace.

Step into the world of Porto’s aristocracy with a visit to the Stock Exchange Palace, a magnificent 19th-century landmark that showcases the city’s wealth and grandeur. This historic building is also known as the Palácio da Bolsa in Portuguese.

Sunny view of a historic city square with an ornate classical building, a statue, palm trees, and people walking. sun flares visible.
View of Infante Dom Henrique Square and Porto stock exchange.

You can wander through the richly decorated rooms and halls of the palace, each offering a glimpse into the city’s prosperous past.

One of the highlights of the Stock Exchange Palace is the Arabian Room, a stunning masterpiece adorned with intricate Moorish-inspired decorations. As you step inside this opulent chamber, you’ll be transported to another world, where ornate stucco work, colourful tiles, and exquisite furnishings create an atmosphere of luxury and refinement.

Another must-see attraction within the palace is the Assembly Room, a grand ballroom adorned with crystal chandeliers, elegant furnishings, and ornate stucco work.

28. Relax at Jardim do Morro.

Jardim do Morro, nestled atop a scenic hill overlooking the Douro River and Porto’s historic centre, is a serene park that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city below. With its lush greenery, winding pathways, and breathtaking views, it’s a favourite spot among locals and visitors alike.

View of a busy urban park in porto, with an old church, modern bridge, and downtown skyline under a clear blue sky.
Jardim do Morro

As you enter the park, you’ll see manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and towering trees that provide shade on sunny days.

One of the highlights of Jardim do Morro is its panoramic viewpoints, which offer sweeping vistas of Porto’s skyline, the Douro River, and the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge.

It’s a great place to bring a picnic and enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the park’s peaceful surroundings. There are plenty of benches and grassy areas where you can sit back and relax.

29. Catch a Stunning Porto Sunset.

There’s something truly magical about Porto sunsets. As the sun begins its descent, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colours—shades of orange, pink, and purple paint the horizon, casting a warm glow over the city’s rooftops and the tranquil waters of the Douro River.

Sunset view over the douro river, featuring the dom luís i bridge and the porto cityscape in portugal.
Sunset over Porto and the Douro river.

Finding the perfect spot to watch the sunset is all part of the experience. Whether you’re strolling along the banks of the Douro River, perched atop one of Porto’s scenic viewpoints, or enjoying a drink at a rooftop bar, there’s no shortage of vantage points to choose from.

One popular spot to catch the sunset is the Miradouro da Vitória, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Porto’s historic centre and the Douro River below. Another favourite is the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, where you can relax amidst lush gardens and watch as the sun dips below the horizon.

30. Visit a Rooftop Bar.

In Porto, the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding the perfect spot to enjoy a drink with a view.

Rooftop bars offer a unique way to experience the city, combining stunning panoramas with delicious cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere.

One popular rooftop bar is Base Porto, situated on top of a parking garage with unparalleled views of the Douro River and the Dom Luis I Bridge. Here, you can sip on expertly crafted cocktails while taking in the breathtaking scenery below.

For a more modern and stylish ambiance, head to the Porto Cruz Terrace, where you’ll find sweeping views of the historic Ribeira district. This is the first bar I visited on the first day of my trip to Porto, and it is still one of my favourite memories of my whole trip. It’s a sleek rooftop bar with a chic setting, comfortable seating, outdoor heaters (very important!) and an extensive menu of cocktails and wines.

31. Try a Homemade Francesinha, Portuguese Sandwich.

Francesinha is the king of comfort food in Porto, and no visit to the city is complete without trying this hearty sandwich. It involves layers of cured meats, such as ham, linguiça (smoked sausage), and steak, sandwiched between slices of bread, all topped with gooey melted cheese. It’s then smothered in a rich and spicy tomato and beer-based sauce.

It sounds a bit much, and it is, but when in Porto…

A plate containing a slice of francesinha, a portuguese sandwich with various meats, cheese, and an egg, served with beer and fries.
Francesinha sandwich.

Many restaurants in Porto serve Francesinha, and each has its own unique twist on this iconic dish. Some places stick to the traditional recipe, while others add their own special ingredients or variations.

It’s traditional to pair your Francesinha with a cold beer or a glass of Portuguese wine. Enjoy!

32. Tour FC Porto – Museum and Stadium

Explore the FC Porto Museum and Stadium Tour for an insider’s look at the famed football club’s history and stadium. Estádio do Dragão contains exhibits showcasing memorable moments and legendary players. You can then step onto the pitch, walk through the players’ tunnel, and visit the trophy room.

It’s a must-visit for football fans and sports enthusiasts alike, offering a glimpse into FC Porto’s storied past and present.

Side view of the modern circular stadium of FC Porto with horizontal slat design and a clear blue sky background.
FC Porto stadium

33. Visit the Cheese Castle.

The Fort of São Francisco Xavier is also known as the Cheese Castle. Standing proudly along the coast, this formidable fortress boasts a grand arched entrance adorned with the Portuguese coat of arms.

It is said that the castle was built at the site of a large cheese-shaped rock, which is where the name comes from. Encircled by a protective moat, there is a drawbridge for controlled access.

Constructed during the War of the Restoration, likely between 1661 and 1662, the fortress was funded by the city of Oporto.

Stone fortress on a sandy beach in Porto with rough sea waves, under a cloudy sky. a winding path leads up to the fort.
Cheese castle in Porto

Map of things to do in Porto, Portugal.

The Google map below shows all of the things to do in Porto as listed in this post. Click the blue icons to see more information about each place, or click the star to add to your own Google Maps.

FAQs about Things to do in Porto, Portugal.

Q: What are some must-visit attractions and things to do in Porto, Portugal? 

A: Some must-visit attractions and things to do in Porto include visiting Livraria Lello, Ribeira district, Clerigos Tower, Porto Cathedral, and Sao Bento Train Station. Nearby attractions include the Douro Valley – this private tour of the Douro Valley is excellent.

Q: What are some unique experiences to have in Porto?

A: Unique things to do in Porto include trying a francesinha sandwich, exploring the city’s street art scene, checking out the underground passages, and taking a boat tour on the Douro River.

Q: Where can I find the best views of Porto? 

A: Some of the best views of Porto can be found from the Dom Luis I Bridge, Clerigos Tower, and various rooftop bars across the city. Catching these city views is one of the most popular things to do in Porto, Portugal. 

Q: What are some outdoor things to do in Porto? 

A: Outdoor activities in Porto include strolling along the Douro River, exploring the Crystal Palace Gardens, and visiting the nearby beaches of Matosinhos and Foz do Douro.

Q: Where can I learn more about Porto’s history and culture? 

A: There are lots of cultural things to do in Porto. You can learn more about Porto’s history and culture by visiting attractions such as the Serralves Foundation, Stock Exchange Palace, and Casa da Musica.

Q: What are some recommended day trips from Porto? 

A: Recommended day trips from Porto include visiting the Douro Valley vineyards, exploring the mediaeval city of Guimaraes, and venturing to nearby coastal towns like Aveiro and Braga. This is a great full day wine tour including lunch. View all day trips here.

Q: Are there any food-related things to do in Porto? 

A: Yes, you can indulge in food-related activities such as port wine tastings in Vila Nova de Gaia, sampling Portuguese cuisine at local eateries, and joining guided food tours to explore Porto’s culinary delights. Try this three hour food and wine tasting tour to be guided by a local expert.

Q: What is the best way to get around Porto? 

A: The best way to get around Porto is by walking, as many attractions are within walking distance in the city centre. Additionally, you can use the metro, trams, buses, or taxis for longer distances or to reach areas outside the city centre.

Q: What are the best times of year to visit Porto? 

A: The best times of year to visit Porto are during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild, and tourist crowds are fewer compared to the peak summer months.

Q: Are there any guided tours available in Porto? 

A: Yes, there are numerous guided tours available in Porto, covering various themes such as history, food, wine, and art. View all day trips here. You can choose from walking tours, boat tours, bike tours, and more. I recommend this excellent wine tour which is a small group tour. If you are looking for a private experience, this wine tour in the Douro Valley cannot be beaten.

Q: Is Porto a family-friendly destination? 

A: Yes, Porto is a family-friendly destination. There are plenty of things to do in Porto suitable for all ages, including parks, museums, boat tours, and interactive experiences like the World of Discoveries museum. Football/soccer fans will love the FC Porto Tour.

Q: What are some budget-friendly activities and things to do in Porto? 

A: Budget-friendly activities and things to do in Porto include visiting free attractions like Porto’s beaches, parks, and some churches, as well as exploring local markets, street art, and enjoying picnics in public gardens.

Q: Is it safe to explore Porto at night? 

A: Yes, Porto is generally safe to explore at night, especially in popular tourist areas like Ribeira and downtown. However, it’s always advisable to take standard precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

Q: Can I visit Porto’s attractions with a Porto Card? 

A: Yes, the Porto Card offers discounts on lots of things to do in Porto. It includes admission to various attractions, museums, and public transportation in Porto. It can be a cost-effective option for visitors planning to explore multiple sites.

Q: Are there any cultural events or festivals in Porto worth attending? 

A: Yes, Porto hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the São João Festival in June, the Porto Wine Fest in September, and various music, arts, and film festivals.

Q: How can I experience Porto’s nightlife? 

A: For things to do in Porto at night, you can visit bars, restaurants, and cafes in neighbourhoods like Galerias de Paris, where you’ll find a vibrant scene with live music, DJs, and traditional Fado performances.

Where to stay in Porto.

Now you have an idea of things to do in Porto, it’s time to look at where to stay.

When choosing where to stay in Porto, these are the main areas to consider:

  1. Historic Centre (Ribeira): If you want to be in the heart of Porto’s historic district, Ribeira is an excellent choice. You’ll be close to major attractions, restaurants, and bars, and you can enjoy scenic views of the Douro River. View accommodation in Ribeira on Booking.com.
  1. Baixa (Downtown): Baixa is a bustling area with plenty of shops, cafes, and cultural attractions. It’s a great option for those who want to be centrally located and have easy access to public transportation. View accommodation in Baixa on Booking.com.
  1. Cedofeita: This neighbourhood offers a more local vibe with trendy cafes, art galleries, and boutiques. It’s a bit quieter than the city centre but still within walking distance of many attractions. View accommodation in Cedofeita on Booking.com.
  1. Boavista: Boavista is a modern and upscale area known for its luxury hotels, shopping malls, and cultural institutions like Casa da Musica. It’s a good choice if you prefer a quieter atmosphere and don’t mind being further from the city centre. View accommodation in Boavista on Booking.com.
  1. Foz do Douro: If you’re looking for a beachside escape, Foz do Douro is the place to be. This upscale neighbourhood offers beautiful beaches, seaside promenades, and upscale dining options. It’s a bit farther from the city centre but offers a more relaxed atmosphere. View accommodation in Foz do Douro on Booking.com.

Popular Hotels in Porto.

Click here to see all hotels in Porto. Listed below are some of the most popular hotels in Porto, based on traveller reviews and ratings:

  1. InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas: Located in a historic building in the city centre, this luxurious hotel offers elegant rooms, a fine dining restaurant, and stunning views of Porto’s landmarks. See prices and availability for Palacio das Cardosas.
  1. The Yeatman: Situated in Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from Porto, The Yeatman is a luxury wine hotel with spacious rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and an extensive wine cellar offering tastings and tours. See prices and availability for The Yeatman.
  1. Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel: This charming hotel is housed in a renovated 16th-century building along the Douro River in the historic Ribeira district. It features stylish rooms, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views, and easy access to Porto’s attractions. See prices and availability for Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel.
  1. PortoBay Hotel Teatro: Set in a renovated theatre building near Aliados Square, this boutique hotel offers modern and stylish rooms, a gourmet restaurant, and a cosy bar. Its central location makes it convenient for exploring the city. See prices and availability for PortoBay Teatro.
  1. Hotel Infante Sagres: Located in the heart of Porto’s historic centre, Hotel Infante Sagres is a luxury boutique hotel with opulent decor, a rooftop terrace, and a renowned restaurant. It’s within walking distance of major landmarks and attractions. See prices and availability for Infante Sagres.

It’s advisable to check recent reviews, amenities, and location preferences before booking your accommodation. Here is a map from Booking.com which shows hotels by location. You can click on the map (or pinch it on a mobile phone) to move it around and select hotels.


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